I grew up in the province without electricity, television, iPad, cellphone and internet. I still vividly remember how my siblings and I gather around a lamp while making our homework. My elder sisters and brother always had my back when I had questions about mathematics and science. They did not give me answers right away, rather, they helped me understand the question and guided me to the right answer. I remember enjoying dinner with my parents asking about how school went that day. I can still feel the sweet crisp of the night breeze with bright stars shining down on my family as my father shared his favorite fables from when he was still young and as my mother counseled us on problems we encountered at school that day. My childhood is a treasure I will embrace forever.
However, time has changed. Technology has become part of nearly every aspect of our lives. We are missing the simple joys of quality time with family now a days. Parents get home from the office but the shadow of their workplace keeps following them. Children get home from school and they go online and update their social media account or simply scroll down and read statuses that never end. They might also do their homework but when they have questions, they ask google. Gathering in the living room after dinner will be great if only everyone will not look down on their phones.
I am not saying I don’t enjoy virtual conversations. Believe me, I enjoy it as much as you do but it lacks personal connection. How often do you go on social media and post about your problems thinking that in one way or another, someone who will read it will help you solve them? I have been tempted many times to do the same because I thought that the solution I am looking for will be found when I look down on my phone. But as I looked up one night that I was tempted to turn on social media for solution, I saw my mother approaching me and she asked, “Do you need someone to talk to?” Her question came like a bucket of cold water drenching me with the reality that my family will always be willing to listen to me whatever difficulty I may be facing, that they will sit down on the floor with me and listen to my problems, that they will not judge me even with my ugliest sobs and stubborn mistakes, that I don’t have to reach people I hardly know and desperately ask for their opinion about my personal life. That night, I put down my phone and talked to my mom and I did not regret even a second of it. In seeking the answers to our questions or the solution to our problems, Elder José A. Teixeira, one of the leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints mentioned that we have to cultivate a habit of setting mobile limitations. He said, “[Make] time to set aside your mobile devices.”
Our families, even with our differences and complexities, are willing to listen, succor, and comfort us when we need them. We need not go far a long ways searching for friends because the best friends we’re looking for are found within the four corners of our home. But we will never find them if we don’t put our phones down. Setting mobile limitations and resetting ourselves in reading the scriptures and listening to our inspired family members can make us understand that we are loved.